First of all, first things first. I am not going to be comparing this “proper” album with its self-released predecessor, Overture Macabre (which was a pretty decent release in its own right), as though they share songs, this album’s longer length and much clearer production puts it in another ball park entirely.
Imagine, if you will, a more metal version of classic Bauhaus. Bypass the Moonspells and Type O’s while you are it. In essence, this outfit channels the spirit of 80’s goth rock (with a hint of cold wave) into 90’s metal (no sub-genres such as black or death need apply).
The opener “Eyes Sewn Shut” is one of the band’s strongest tunes to date, combining nice thick riffage with great (and nostalgia inducing) songwriting that makes you want to bang your head in a rather morbid fashion. The vocalist ( and the production) has improved, providing a throatier baritone to go with the industrial gothic metal instrumentation. The title track wastes no time in showing the band’s other more 80’s influenced allegiance, keeping it interesting and highly addictive all the way. Most of the songs keep the pace good, and the sound testosterone based. “Interlude in Hell” breaks the flow with a short and suitably dark piece leading to more Sisters of Mercy playing metal via “White Heaven”. “The Burning” is my favorite track on the album,being highly catchy without relying on the tried formula, having no crunchy guitars yet still managing to be a chraged song with nice lyrics. Its dark and and mid paced with clear synths but sounds nothing like typical darkwave fare. And it segues niceley into “Obsessed”.Awesome !
The band’s sense of dynamics is strong, and takes only the enjoyable bits of stalwarts like Sisters of Mercy and Bauhaus, leaving behind the doodling. The muscularity of the band’s sound changes it from moping sounding to positively threatening in places. The synths never take top priority and neither do the samples, only enhancing the claustrophobic dark atmosphere created by these morose Australians.
This is steadily developing into one my favorite new gothic metal bands (and one of the few who justify the tag). Let us observe and see where their dark path leads to from here.
01. Eyes Sewn Shut